Thursday 3 March 2011


One of the best things about doing what I do is that I get to bake every single day.  Every baked good that I serve comes from my kitchen so early mornings find me baking bread, muffins, cookies and cakes.  I could just buy this stuff—there are lots of great bakeries—but then my kitchen wouldn’t smell nearly as nice.

There’s something universally appealing about the aroma of freshly baked bread. Years ago, when I worked at a bakery, the kitchen would get very hot so we would open the doors to help cool the room.  As soon as we did, the smell would draw people in.  It didn’t matter if it was two in the morning or three in the afternoon, if the aroma of baking bread was wafting out the door passers-by would stop, inhale deeply, and then follow their noses into the bakery.

I bake on a much smaller scale here but the response remains much the same:  My neighbours pause on the landing to enjoy that fresh-baked scent as they go by our door, and guests in my home invariably find themselves standing at the kitchen counter waiting for that first slice to be taken from a still-warm loaf of bread.  The aroma appeals to me too:  It stirs happy childhood memories and, even on the most hectic days, calms frayed nerves. There is no better aroma therapy than the smell of baking fresh from the oven.

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